Et un ! Et deux ! Et trois – zé-ro !

The Redskins’ first home-game isn’t scheduled until August 22nd. So why did 72,000 football fans descend on FedEx Field yesterday? They were treated to a great match as D.C.’s other football team, D.C. United, took on the mighty Real Madrid C.F. and its roaster of international soccergodsstars. Yes! Finally, some real football at Landover!

Sunday’s encounter was a far cry from a typical D.C. United game. The crowd, huge by D.C. soccer standards, was a few thousand spectators shy of what Los Galácticos average for a regular match at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The game was very much a soccer version David vs. Goliath. It was amazing seeing over 72,000 spectators brave the 95 degree heat to see D.C. United play. Though they weren’t here to cheer for the home team 😉 I’d estimate that at probably some 70,000 of them were wearing white and cheering for Los Blancos. Real’s lineup, labeled the best team money can buy, includes the past two world players of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, whose combined salaries this year is more than D.C. United players have made (together) in the 13 years history of the team. Nonetheless, for the first 55 minutes, none of this seemed to matter as United goalkeeper Josh Wicks (whose annual salary of $42,000 is probably what Ronaldo spends during one night out on the town) held his own and rebuffed all of Real’s attacks. And then Arjen Robben scored not one but two goals in a row for Real and well, to make a short story short, D.C. United lost 3-0.

Despite the final score, the game was anything but a loss for D.C. United. The exhibition match was a great exposure for Tom Soehn’s men and for the sport as a whole in the United States. The next home game pits D.C. United against L.A. Galaxy on August 22nd. I hope some of the Real fans who came to FedEx yesterday will consider coming to RFK to give the Black-and-Red some much needed love. And if some want to come to cheer on David Beckham… well… that’s fine too I guess…

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